Nations Seek Protected Marine Areas in the Southern Ocean
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Australia, the European Union, France, New Zealand and the United States jointly call for the establishment this year of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean, in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica.

The establishment of such MPAs follows through on the vision expressed by all nations at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 and the Rio+20 conference in 2012.

Since 2005, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (the Commission, CCAMLR) has worked to complete the necessary groundwork for the designation of MPAs in CCAMLR, including the establishment of a legal framework agreed by all Members and extensive scientific research.

The Ross Sea and East Antarctica regions are widely recognized for their remarkable ecological and scientific importance. The MPA proposals now before the Commission are based on sound and best available science, will provide a unique laboratory for continuation of marine research, and will have profound and lasting benefits for ocean conservation, including sustainable use of its resources.

We call on all Members of the Commission to bring years of preparation to a successful conclusion by establishing these important, science-based MPAs at the next session of the Commission in October 2013 in Hobart, Australia.

The above text was released by the Foreign Ministers of Australia, France, New Zealand, the United States and The Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union.

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